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Each Saturday, this feature links and excerpts commentary and reporting from a dozen progressive state blogs in the past seven days around the nation. The idea is not only to spotlight specific issues but to give readers who may not know their state has a progressive blog or two a place to become regularly informed about doings in their back yard. Just as states with progressive lawmakers and activists have themselves initiated innovative programs over a wide range of issues, state-based progressive blogs have helped provide us with a point of view and inside information we don't get from the traditional media. Those blogs deserve a larger audience. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite you think I should know about. Standard disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.
At Blogging While Blue: News & Views of a Few Georgia Democrats, bloggingwhileblue writes 2014 Georgia Elections Are Worth the Attention:
There’s been some encouraging news for Georgia Democrats this week. On Monday, Better Georgia released polling data that shows Georgia Democrats being competitive in Georgia’s 2014 open United States Senate race. In addition, Roll Call ran a piece about the groundwork that right wing conservative groups are doing to drop money in those races. On its face, the last piece of news doesn’t seem positive, but we think it is. [...]
Blogging White Blue state blog
The mere notion that Anderson and the Koch brothers are coming to Georgia will scare some people. But Democrats shouldn’t worry too much. Democrats have proven in the last two election cycles that we can match the money and strategies of the best of the third party groups. There will be no more swift boating of democratic candidates without response. If the big GOP super PACs enter Georgia next year, they will likely be met by democratic super PACs.
At OrangeJuiceBlog of California, Irvine Valkyrie writes Irvine Svengali: Is Jeff Lalloway the Dick Cheney to Mayor Choi’s Bush?:
Orange Juice Blog state blog
Back during the George W. Bush presidency, many critics of the president  suspected and suggested that VP Dick Cheney was the real president, pulling the strings behind the scenes.   A similar dynamic seems to be taking place at the Irvine City Hall where many believe that Mayor Steven Choi is nothing more than a figurehead,with City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway really calling the shots. Both publicly and behind the scenes, Lalloway is asserting his power and influence over the larger strategy of the Republican party in Irvine.

Writing in the Liberal OC, columnist Dan Chemielewski may have had an interesting find in his discovery of David Cordero, the Chief of Staff for Jeff Lalloway.  It’s not unusual for politicians in a large city like Irvine to have a Chief of Staff.  What is unusual is the fact that the Mayor, Steven Choi, does NOT have a Chief of Staff, while Jeff Lalloway does.

At ColoradoPols, Jason Salzman writes Will Tancredo’s GOP allies, like Coffman, denounce Tancredo’s anti-immigration views?:

Colorado Pols state blog
Now that former Congressman Tom Tancredo is officially running for governor, you wonder how many Republicans will go out of their way to denounce Tanc's anti-anti-anti (that's triple anti-) immigration views.

It's a question reporters should put to Republicans (why not denounce Tancredo on immigration?) not only because numerous Republicans are trying to cozy up to Hispanics (See Gardner, Coffman, Penry) but also because many leading Colorado Republicans endorsed Tancredo over the years. [...]

As you know if you follow Tancredo from microphone to microphone, Tancredo's true conservative values start with immigration, which still comes up in one of every ten of his breaths.

More news and views from progressive state blogs can be found below the fold.

At My Left Nutmeg of Connecticut, ctblogger writes The Malloy/Pryor Education Reform Consultant Full Employment Gravy Train:

While it's true that Malloy's Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, has failed to fill some of the most critically important administrative positions in his agency that actually serve Connecticut's schools and children, such as a Bureau Chief for the Special Education Division, Pryor's dedication to retaining corporate education reform consulting companies and corporate education consultants is impressive.

Yesterday Wait, What? explored a $123,930.00 taxpayer-funded payment to Mass Insight Education, an education reform consulting company that has been retained to help develop Commissioner Pryor's "Turnaround Network."

Although the total magnitude of the consulting contract with Mass Insight hasn't been reported, that initial six figure payment is chump change compared to the amount of taxpayer money that is being spent on the salaries and benefits of the consultants and education reformers who have been hired to surround Pryor at the Department of Education.

At 43rd Street Blues, Sisyphus writes Sorry State of Local Idaho Journalism on Display in GBAD Election:
This weekend, Idaho news outlets were busy congratulating themselves about their self serving awards ceremony, in which everyone seemed to get a prize, while potential corruption brewed under their very noses without so much as a question. After I posted a detailed report on Friday regarding what appeared to be deceptive electioneering practices in the GBAD election, only two local media outlets chose to raise questions regarding the election financial disclosures, and both dropped the ball after getting what they apparently thought was a plausible explanation
At Prairie State Blue of Illinois, BrianG writes Bustos, Enyart vote to approve Keystone XL Pipeline:
Prairie State Blue state blog
Earlier on Tuesday evening the House of Representatives voted to approve the Northern Route of the Keystone Pipeline and take the decision out of the hands of President Obama. President Obama no longer has to face the voters, but Bustos and Enyart will in 2014. Bustos ranked 182nd most progressive member of the Democratic caucus, and Enyart ranked 172nd most progressive member were two of the nineteen so called "Democrats" voted for a project which respected climate scientist James Hansen declared to be "Game Over" for the planet.  Bustos and Enyart must be defeated in 2014.
Bleeding Heartland
At Bleeding Heartland of Iowa, desmoinesdem writes Latest IA-Sen news: taxes, spending, and problem solving:
So far two Republicans have confirmed plans to seek the Senate seat. Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker's campaign website is up and running. He plans a formal announcement on June 3.

Earlier this month, Ames attorney Paul Lunde said he plans to run as well. Best known as the Republican challenger to Representative Neal Smith in 1992, Lunde is unlikely to become a factor in the GOP primary.

I haven't heard any news lately about Senator Chuck Grassley's staffer David Young, who has been talking with Iowa Republicans about the race.

Secretary of State Matt Schultz traveled to Washington last week to talk about a possible Senate bid. State Senator Joni Ernst and former State Representative Rod Roberts told the Omaha World-Herald's Andrew Nelson that "they would also likely travel to Washington as they decide whether to enter the race."

At Hillbilly Report of Kentucky, Berry Craig writes OUR Walmart's freedom ride:
James and Trina Vetato knew about the freedom riders from history books.

Next month, the Paducah, Ky., couple expects to join a civil rights movement-style protest by OUR Walmart, an employees group, against the world's largest retailer.

Walmart is known for paying its workers low wages, providing them few benefits and fiercely opposing unions.

Called the “Ride for Respect,” the demonstration at Walmart corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., will be modeled on civil rights volunteers who rode buses into the South in the 1960s to protest Jim Crow racial injustice, James Vetato said.

At Louisiana Voice: Politics at its Worst!, tomaswell writes Reports surface that Department of Education Superintendent John White is out the door for Washington to further validate Peter Principle:
In the late ‘60s psychologist Dr. Laurence J. Peter advanced what became known as the Peter Principle which said, in effect, that “In a hierarchically-structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their level of incompetence.”
Louisiana Voices state blog
Put another way: “The cream rises until it sours.” [...]

The same may be said of John White, who despite his abysmal record as Louisiana Superintendent of Education, may soon be promoted to yet a new level of incompetence.

At Blue Virginia, Paul Goldman writes June 11 at 7pm: The End of Con Man EW Jackson's Candidacy for LG:
As VA GOP LG nominee EW Jackson Sr. will shortly learn, in America you can last a long time in politics if your MO is to make bigoted attacks on African-Americans, women, President Obama specifically and Democrats in general, Mormons, non-Christians, Latinos, gays...go down the list. Indeed, it appears that Mr. Jackson is determined to get a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the U.S. politician who offended the most groups during a single statewide run for office. As someone of the Jewish faith, I kinda feel offended that my religion hasn't been worthy of being directly offended by Bishop Jackson; as they say in New York, what are we, chopped liver? But he has only been the GOP nominee for less than a week, and he has a long list, so our time will come, no doubt.    

Now, it is one thing for a Republican to lead the Hit Parade in the bigotry category. Nothing new there. But it is quite another matter when he gets on the front page of the state's newspapers as having played fast and loose, not just with his tongue, but also with his personal and business finances.

At Uppity Wisconsin, Jud Lounsbury writes MacIver Relies on Old Friend (Intellectual Dishonesty) to Argue for Cutting Wealthy's Income Taxes:
The Maciver Institute is using the tired ploy of cherry-picking one of Wisconsin's taxes, comparing it to surrounding states, and then feigning outrage that the wealthy are over-taxed:
Uppity Wisconsin state blog
Under the current tax code, an individual with taxable income of $11,000 in the State of Wisconsin would pay a higher state income tax rate than a millionaire in Illinois, Indiana, or Michigan.

With taxes, of course, you have to look at all the taxes that each state collects and when you do, the total per-capita taxes looks like this, according to the 2012 U.S. Census numbers: Minnesota: $3,822; Illinois: $2,830; Average: $2,767; Wisconsin: $2,575; Iowa: $2,548; Michigan: $2,425; Indiana: $2,402

At Burnt Orange Report of Texas, Karl-Thomas Musselman writes Tom DeLay's Lawyer James Bopp Drafts Response to Boy Scout Policy on Homosexuality:
Maybe best known as being Tom DeLay's lawyer, James "Jim" Bopp recently drafted a letter to the Boy Scouts of America regarding potential legal exposure from the proposed "split-decision" solution to the organizations ban on gay scouts. With delegates having voted just hours ago and the results still unknown as of this writing, reading his review could be prescient or merely an entertaining footnote. Still, a good read either way. Check it out below the fold.
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